However, despite air transactions rising for a record five consecutive quarters, growth has been at its slowest since the first quarter of 2013 (at one per cent year on year). UK GDP is now increasing at a greater rate than air transactions, suggesting that domestic, not export orders are the largest sources of growth.
The 2014 second quarter comparison against 2013 also revealed strong rail figures also reinforcing the accountants and purchasing managers’ view that domestic growth is driving the economy with GTMC member rail bookings increasing five per cent year on year.
GTMC chief executive Paul Wait commented: “The results from the GTMC’s second quarter transaction survey of 2014 are again very positive, stating once more that as the economy strengthens, so too does the demand for business travel. While business confidence has grown for eight consecutive quarters, the slight slowdown in air transactions in relation to GDP and the uptick in rail figures lends credence to the idea that an increase in domestic demand has a major role to play in driving the sector."
The GTMC’s membership accounts for over 80 per cent of UK expenditure on managed business travel. The quarterly survey monitors a range of services offered by travel management companies and highlights trends in the business travel sector.
Representing a diverse range of travel management companies – from global companies to small independent specialists and top regional agencies – the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) is the voice of business travel and acts to lobby those who have an impact on the business travel community, together with promoting the activities of its members as the best in quality and value to the business traveller.